QUOTE: After Wresting Tikrit From ISIS, Iraqis Face Sectarian and Tribal Tensions
By Tim Arango, May 18, 2015
THE NEW YORK TIMES: Zaid Al-Ali, an Iraqi analyst and author of “The Struggle for Iraq’s Future,” said that in the aftermath of the Tikrit battle, the Iraqi government had shifted its focus to military campaigns in Baiji, to the north, and Anbar Province, to the west, while neglecting Tikrit itself. “They feel like they can move on,” said Mr. Ali, who maintains wide contacts among Tikrit residents. “I don’t think they understand the long-term implications of not resettling Tikritis.” Mr. Ali said that allowing Tikrit residents to come home, and restoring essential services, would help in winning over local populations in other areas controlled by the Islamic State, such as in Anbar Province and in Mosul, in future military campaigns. A failure to stabilize Tikrit, he said, will provide propaganda value to the Islamic State, allowing the group to argue that it is a better authority for Sunni communities.